A Portrait of Colonial Tasmania

QVMAG Colonial Gallery

On permanent display at the Queen Victoria Art Gallery at Royal Park.

During the 19th century Van Diemen's Land (renamed Tasmania in 1855) witnessed a flowering of artistic endeavour that was unsurpassed in the Australian colonies, as a result of free emigration and convict transportation. In the period before the ready use of photography, artists, convict and free, recorded the traditional inhabitants, the land, and white settlement. Drawing on rich European traditions of portraiture and landscape painting the life of the colony was recorded through visual images.

The later period saw the displacement of the Aboriginal people, the end of convict transportation, the growth of settlement, an emerging awareness of the hinterland, and the mantle passed to a fresh generation of artists and subjects. The exhibition seeks to record these events as seen through the eyes and talents of the artists.

The exhibition also features a collection of works by colonial artists including John Glover and Henry Dowling.